BSkyB takeover decision unlikely before September

The decision on whether News Corp’s takeover of UK pay TV operator BSkyB can go ahead could be delayed until at least September as the number of submissions received by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to his consultation reached a reported 140,000.

News Corp had expected Hunt to give the takeover the green light in a matter of days after interested parties were given a deadline of midday today to make submissions. However, since allegations of mobile phone hacking and illegal payments to police from its UK tabloid the News of The World began to surface, the number of submission’s to Hunt’s department has escalated. Online campaign group Avaaz has reportedly organised about 135,000 submissions opposing the takeover.

According to reports, people close to Hunt said that it will take several weeks to review submissions, meaning a decision on the takeover is unlikely before September.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, prime minister David Cameron said: “[Hunt’s] role is to take the advice of independent regulators and, as his department have made clear this morning – given the events of recent days – this will take some time.”

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